“Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked… But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end… But for me it is good to be near God…” (Psalm 73)
We are climbing the holy mountain of God’s calling. Some pilgrims are already at home resting and enjoying the bounty of the Lord’s house. But there are still many down the slopes, slowly moving up the hill. They struggle with obedience to simple commands. They have difficulty in believing the truth. What is truth? –asked Pilate? The truth is this: GOD IS GOOD! The rich young ruler called Jesus ‘Good Teacher…’ He was rebuked for speaking words without understanding. Jesus said to him: ‘No one is good-except God alone!’ (Lk 18:18-19). Such a simple revelation… But it is still so hard to believe it…
Each step up the mountain requires total trust that God is indeed a good Person. We have to believe that He who called us to a higher place is faithful. But when things get hard, the doubt resident in the flesh starts grumbling. In the wilderness the people of God complained again and again doubting the goodness of God. Even Jeremiah thought that God had deceived him into ministry. Why do we struggle so much in believing that God is indeed good? The first reason is that we are not yet mature spiritually. The Bible raises our expectations concerning our blessings from God. As sinners we had no hope of any inheritance from heaven. But now, we are told that we are kings and priests. We start to imagine golden palaces, exotic temples and flowing gowns… This is the result of fleshly, wild, un- sanctified imagination. For a long time we do not know how to control that. So we dream and claim the gold from the streets of heaven and the pearls at the gates. Then we look around and see a cheap apartment we call our home on earth, we feel disappointed and then blame God for giving us ‘false hopes’.
Another reason why we struggle to believe that God is good is because we foolishly compare ourselves with others. We see them having a ‘better life’ than ours. It is even more painful when the wicked prosper. The word ‘prosperity’ in Hebrew is ‘Shalom.’ This is one of the personal names of God. We feel jealous and bitter. We end up feeling betrayed by God. Without a good explanation why the ungodly prosper, we start blaming God for partiality and wickedness.
The great Oswald Chambers said that ‘we are always suspicious on God.’ We are addicted to doubt about God’s character and motives. This sin is like leprosy; it affects our life, our worship and our commitment. When things get a little bit difficult we quickly jump at the conclusion that God does not care. We forget that behind all this wicked stronghold of doubt is the same devil, the same one that deceived Eve long ago.
What is the solution? We have to go back to the Bible! We cannot find the truth outside the Word of God. Pastors preach and elders counsel. But nothing can replace the daily quiet time to study God’s Word, combined with fasting and prayer. Secondly, come to church. Listen to the preaching of the Word. Listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit in the sanctuary. Many have found peace within its walls. Pray about your questions. Confront your doubts! The Christian life is lived by faith alone. There are times in which you have to close your eyes and your ears. Be blind and deaf to all that is not of God. Be honest with God and with yourself! Draw closer to God and He will draw closer to you! Pay the price for intimacy with God. You shall find Jesus to be the best friend you can ever have, kind and faithful, wonderful beyond description and worthy of all your trust!
In Christ I declare:
God is good! All the time! God is good to me and to my family! I believe 100 percent! I chose not to doubt God’s goodness!
In Jesus’ name,